Cannes: Sino-European Project Lab Unveils Selections, Moves to Nanjing

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Screenwriting mentors participating in the event include Yan Geling (Zhang Yimou’s 'Coming Home') and Philip LaZebnik, writer of Disney classics 'Pocahontas' and 'Prince of Egypt.'

Bridging the Dragon, the established industry platform that fosters closer ties between the film communities of Europe and China, has unveiled the 12 projects selected to participate in its third annual Sino-European Project Lab, which this year will take place in the historic Chinese city of Nanjing.

Running shortly before the Shanghai International Film Festival, the event will be held June 13-16. It is organized in collaboration with ARRI, with the support of Nanjing University of Arts and the local government. One More Pictures, a Nanjing-based film incubation and production company, has come on board as the event's new Chinese partner.

The Sino-European Project Lab brings together established screenwriters, directors and producers from both regions to mentor aspiring film talents and assist them in shaping their projects so that they are suitable for collaboration between the European and Chinese film industries. The event also aims to "become an inspiring think tank with open speeches and discussions," cultivating personal and professional relationships between participants.

"It is our aim to continue the collaboration with Bridging the Dragon and make the lab grow into a larger Sino-European yearly summit that [can] bring together talents and resources and make our movies better and more global,” says One More founder Li Zhu.

This year's tutors include: screenwriter and director Cao Baoping, renowned novelist and screenwriter Yan Geling (best known for writing Zhang Yimou’s Flowers of War and Coming Home, and Feng Xiaogang’s forthcoming Youth), scriptwriter Philip LaZebnik (Mulan, Pocahontas, Prince of Egypt), Rikke Ennis (CEO of Trust Nordisk and Zentropa China), Hong Kong producer Keung Chow, Yu-Fai Suen (managing director of Pinewood Pictures), Abe Kwang (formerly general manager of script development at Wanda Pictures, now senior vp of Magilm Pictures) and Keming Hou, deputy director of the academic committee at the Beijing Film Academy.

"The increasing number of submissions that we had this year and the quality of the projects and the companies that applied is a sign of how our two film industries are gradually getting closer to each other and how times are getting more mature for a successful collaboration,” said producer and Bridging the Dragon president Leontine Petit.

The six European and six Chinese projects selected to participate in the event represent a diverse array of genres and companies. They include: the art house drama Mumu (from Taiwanese producer and distributor Flash Forward Entertainment), directed by debut filmmaker Hu Yangyi; the war comedy Undertake, an original take on Middle Eastern conflicts produced by Tianjing-based company Century Pictures; the science fiction adventure from Mark Brandis Space Partisans by German Rexin Film (co-producer of Agnieszka Holland’s Berlin Silver Berlin Bear winner Spoor and the Golden Berlin Bear winner Honey); the sci-fi/ horror project Dark Moon by Norwegian producer Kjetil Omberg (74 Entertainment); a still-untitled project by Dutch producer Els Vandevorst (N279 Entertainment) and director Martin Koolhoven (Brimstone); the culture shock comedy about wine set in Italy, Grape to Glass, by Elsa Yang; the epic Sino-French drama Across the Valley and Into the Hills by Jordan Schiele.

"Some of the projects from the 2015 editions are going into productions now and many of the attendees are actively involved with each other," said Bridging the Dragon managing director Cristiano Bortone. "This makes us very proud and willing to make this format continue and grow.”